Natalie Morales is moving West to become the co-host of “Access Hollywood” and “Access Hollywood Live,” TheWrap has learned.
In addition, Morales will serve as the West Coast anchor of “Today.” Noah Oppenheim, the NBC executive in charge of “Today,” informed the staff of the change in a memo on Tuesday.
“With our show’s increasing focus on West Coast stories, it became clear to me that having a permanent anchor presence in L.A. would be of enormous value,” Oppenheim said in the note obtained by TheWrap (see below).
“Please join me in congratulating Natalie on her family’s big move and her exciting new roles,” he continued. “We’re so thrilled that she’ll continue to be part of the ‘Today’ family for years to come.”
The move comes amid a major shakeup in daytime TV on rival network ABC, as Michael Strahan abruptly announced that he will leave “Live! With Kelly & Michael” for a permanent position on “Good Morning America.”
Read the full memo below:
I’m writing with exciting news – this summer, Natalie Morales will move to LA to become TODAY’s West Coast Anchor and a host of Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live. She’ll also continue to play a prominent role on Dateline.
As you all know, Natalie has already been spending a lot of time in California, reporting live from special events like the Oscars, Golden Globes and Latin American Music Awards, conducting celebrity interviews and set visits, and spearheading two big series spotlighting women who are leaders in Silicon Valley and Hollywood. With our show’s increasing focus on West Coast stories, it became clear to me that having a permanent anchor presence in LA would be of enormous value.
Additionally, when NBCU Domestic TV Distribution heard that a talent of Natalie’s caliber and entertainment experience might soon be LA-based, they immediately jumped at the opportunity to have her host Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live.
It’s an exciting time for all of us at TODAY – we recently marked 8 consecutive months as the #1 morning show in the key demo, and the ratings momentum continues to build on our side. From this summer’s Republican and Democratic Conventions, to the Rio Olympics, to the historic election this fall, the coming months will be an extraordinary time for the country and the show.
Please join me in congratulating Natalie on her family’s big move and her exciting new roles. We’re so thrilled that she’ll continue to be part of the TODAY family for years to come.